Blizzcon Retribution Specific

Holy Spells Only?

Q: Other classes have multiple types of schools, Paladins holy only. And there’s nothing to allow you to resist it. Why is that? It makes them feel like a steamroller.
A: That’s why we’ve changed it over time for Ret to have more physical abilities than holy. We can’t really give them another school because they’re… holy. As a quick followup, holy doesn’t really have as much of an advantage anymore, because we don’t really make gear with resists anymore. If you’re losing to a paladin it’s probably not because of holy damage.

Khor’s Take: I would have never thought about adding any other school of magic except Holy.  I do like the concept of how they have increased our physical arsenal, as the versatility allows for the use of both spell and melee attacks.  This really isn’t a groundbreaking question, more of an “Oh, ok” moment.

Birth of Holy Power

Q: Why did you add Holy Power? Where did it come from to give Paladins combo points?
A: We decided mana feels good until it runs out. It’s dependable over short periods of time then it goes away. The idea was “Oh the mana bar constantly goes down, then it gets filled again.”  You were playing off of cooldowns, playing whack-a-mole.  Ultimately they needed a real resource. Sort of that build up and then hit really hard kind of deal. It’s not really like combo points, you can kind of ignore it where a Rogue can’t. It’s a new resource though where we’ll have to iterate, but we wanted to get away from the cooldown whack-a-mole gameplay for Paladins.

Khor’s Take:  This could be debated for hours.  Holy Power, in theory, is a great combat mechanic.  I really like it.  But the actualt combat mechanics that take place in fights is currently fairly choppy, at least from my point of view.  We can deal some decent damage, don’t get me wrong, but the flow of combat and the decisions we make don’t follow a smooth transition.  It’s a very jerky, very choppy experience at level 80.  Zealotry and Avenging Wrath have really thrown everything for a loop.

My favorite part of this is, “It’s a new resource though where we’ll have to iterate, but we wanted to get away from the cooldown whack-a-mole gameplay for Paladins.”  Literally translated, “we wanted to get away from the simplistic FCFS gameplay Rets had in WotLK.”  Well, in its current state, we have evolved from a simple FCFS to a complicated FCFS.  The only real difference is that our rotation priorities change depending on whether Avenging Wrath or Zealotry is active.

I think our combat will evolve to a much more stable state at 85 and with Patch 4.1.  I still have loads of fun with the class and I am not complaining.  I just thought this whole statement was a bit ironical.

Holy Power vs Threat

Q: Holy Power generation is gimped for generation of threat overall. Do you have any plans to give Judgment a guaranteed proc for Holy Power? Or maybe a chance to proc free Holy Power? Do you have any ideas to fix this problem?
A: One trap we want to avoid is that you can keep Inquisition and Holy Shield up at the same time. We don’t want you to have both of your “finishers” that buff you up at the same time.  But one problem is warriors are generating too much threat. We fixed that last week.   We changed it so Divine Plea will generate 3 Holy Power when used so you can start with Holy Power on the pull.

Khor’s Take: This doesn’t really apply to Rets, but I thought it was interesting Prots were complaining about Holy Power generation and threat.  I don’t know about you guys, but my Retribution threat is through the roof with Patch 4.0.1!

Zealotry Functionality (or lack thereof)

Q: Zealotry clashes with Ret’s mastery and the Divine Purpose talents. It’s sort of reducing how many Crusader Strikes we can generate (wat?). Do you feel it’s clashing, or that you’ll reevaluate it as a talent?
A: We’re looking at it. Some people claim it’s not a dps increase at all, but we’re confused by that. We might change it so Divine Purpose procs 3 Holy Power while Zealotry is up.

Khor’s Take:Zealotry to me is a clunky buff mashed behind Avenging Wrath. When Blizz buffed Exorcism and Hammer of Wrath, their damage soared, surpassing Crusader Strike in damage, and rivaling Templar’s Verdict at times.  Crusader Strike still takes priority behind Templar’s Verdict in normal situations due to its 100% Holy Power generation, but HoW jumps above it in priority when AW is active. 

Zealotry has fallen behind Avenging Wrath in priority, as a Ret Paladin will cast Avenging Wrath first, using massive HoW damage.  Zealotry is then popped immediately after.  The clunkiness of the ability comes from the CS > TV > CS > TV or CS > TV > TV rotations.  There is some significant downtime when waiting on the CS cooldown, making some believe it is actually a DPS loss since we aren’t including Ex and HoW (HoW when below 20%).

My feelings are mixed.  I feel I generate more damage with Zealotry as opposed to normal rotations, but I am just one player.  I think we will see some significant changes with Cata and Patch 4.1, so arguing this now may be a moot point.

Complex Ret Rotations?

Q: If you decided to cut out abilities for Prot or Ret Paladins due to rotations being too complex, what would they be?
A: We’ve been looking, we probably could take out Avenging Wrath and bake that into Zealotry. Same thing with Inquisition, we could move that somewhere else.

Khor’s Take:Ret rotations too complex?  Not really. Complexity is not the issue.  The frustration, in my opinion, lies in that we have 3 or 4 FCFS rotations based on what buffs we have activated.  Avenging Wrath, Zealotry, normal FCFS, and possibly AW + Zealotry under 20% HP all require different rotations.  I’m not concerned as much as other people are, but I do see where they are coming from.

The solution isn’t as simple as it seems, because if you simplify it too much, you risk creating a very similar FCFS model used in WotLK.  Curious to see what changes they decide to make come 4.1.


  1. Darthal says:

    Blizzard always seems to have an interesting take on their own content. Sometimes it seems like they only develop it theoretically and don’t play it, lol. We do have to keep in mind though that our specs aren’t made for 80 raiding anymore, despite out performing 3.3, they are rough around the edges.

  2. Salovard says:

    I really like the new rotation with the Holy Power generation. There could be a few tweaks to some abilities to not waste Holy Power and eliminate some of the downtime(if you even have any as it is). I believe though that at 85 the rotation will become tighter with better stats on gear. I am really enjoying having to make choices in which abilities to use rather than playing whack-a-mole.

  3. Salovard says:

    I forgot to add that I had a substantial increase in my DPS with the 4.0.1 changes. I am not sure how people have shown a decrease in their DPS other than they dont understand how to use the new abilities. I really hope any tweaks that Blizzard makes are small. I would like to see the current system given a chance with level 85 raiding before any major changes were made.

  4. Rybrotron says:

    I tend to used avenging wrath at the start of a fight now, then pop zealotry when it’s no longer active. Essentially I can crit for 20k+ every 3-4 attacks using this and my dps completely outshines what I was able to pull in 3.3. Mind you on shorter fights (older WoTLK bosses) I hardly end up using zealotry at all and can use HoW pretty much the entire fight.

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